Make an Appointment Today!

Call us at: +1 203 3484286

 

Warren J. Kaplan, D.D.S.

700 Summer St

Stamford, CT 06901

Fax: +1 203 3487620

Email: flossem@stamfordlaserdentist.com

 

 

Office Hours

 

 

Our regular office hours are:

 Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm

 Friday and alternate Saturdays from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm

 

Outside our regular business hours emergency treatment is available by calling

  203 348-4286 for current instructions on reaching us.

   

 

Frequently asked questions

 

  Why the laser?

  I thought dental lasers were just for whitening teeth?

  Is there anything the laser can’t do?

  Is laser dental treatment safe?

  What is “Minimally Invasive Dentistry”?

  Will I need anesthesia?

  What can I expect after I get a bridge, implant, or denture?

  1. For fixed bridges
  2. For Implants
  3. For dentures

  How should I clean my bridges or implants?

  How do veneers and bonding differ?

  What special care do I need to take after having my teeth bonded, bleached, or veneered?

  How should I care for my bonded or veneered teeth?

  Will my newly bleached, bonded, or veneered teeth stain?

  Will bleaching work on all stains?

  How do porcelain veneers differ from porcelain crowns?

  What other cosmetic procedures are there?

  My veneer (or crown) just popped out, what do I do now?

  Something hurts.  I've heard that I can get relief if I let an aspirin tablet dissolve on my gum over the pain.

  Are there special instructions I should follow after getting a filling, crown or after having a root canal?

  1. For fillings and crowns:
  2. For root canal:

  Do I need to clean any differently around my crown?

  Is the mercury in amalgam fillings hazardous to my health?

  Why should I have a root canal?

  What should I do if I lose a crown or filling?

  Are there any special precautions to be taken with children’s teeth?

  1. Keep Teeth Clean
  2. Avoid Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay
  3. Start Dental Visits Early
  4. Encourage Healthful Eating
  5. Ask About Sealants
  6. Get Enough Fluoride
  7. Will thumbsucking or using a pacifier hurt my child's teeth?
  8. Is swallowing toothpaste harmful to children?
  9. Are mouthguards necessary only for contact sports?
  10. How can I convince my child to stop chewing tobacco?
  11. How will I know whether my child needs braces?
  12. What should I do if my child chips or knocks out a tooth?

 

Why the laser?

Laser treatment allows us to do most of the procedures associated with the “drill” or scalpel with far less discomfort, more precision, safety, and faster recovery. In most cases you will not require any anesthesia so you don’t leave the office with numbness and there will never be any surprises in store for you when the anesthesia wears off.

                                                  Back to Top

I thought dental lasers were just for whitening teeth? There are many different kinds of lasers used in modern medical and dental treatment and, yes, there is a laser that is employed to assist in tooth bleaching.   Since every laser operates on a unique wavelength they are designed for a specific purpose. A trained laser dentist will select the appropriate laser for the procedure you need.

                                                   Back to Top

Is there anything the laser can’t do?Dental lasers don’t cut metal. If you have an old metallic filling that needs to be replaced your dentist will have to use a conventional bur and handpiece (drill) to remove it. Once all of the metal is removed it’s possible to finish the treatment using the laser. Also lasers remove tooth structure more slowly than burs so if you are having a crown made or there is an unusually large cavity your dentist may choose not to employ the laser.

                                                   Back to Top

Is laser dental treatment safe?YES! In the hands of a trained and certified laser dentist the laser is actually safer than a drill. A bur will cut whatever it touches from any angle. The laser is only active at its tip and since it is tuned for a specific target tissue it is less likely to damage anything it brushes against.   Naturally, eye protection is mandatory.

                                                   Back to Top

What is “Minimally Invasive Dentistry”?Minimally invasive dentistry is the concept of doing the least to accomplish the most.   In dental treatment that means smaller fillings, less aggressive surgical treatments, and a commitment to preserving as much natural structure as possible. Laser treatment is the ideal way to implement this with its increased precision and selectivity.

                                                   Back to Top

Will I need anesthesia?Most of us hate shots, and with laser treatment odds are you won’t need one. But everyone has his own feelings and every procedure is different. Pain control is always available for those who need it.   The good news is that very few people do!

                                                   Back to Top

What can I expect after I get a bridge, implant, or denture?

For fixed bridges:There is usually no recovery period, and you can eat whatever you like right away. Your dentist or hygientist may suggest using such dental aids as a floss threader to help you clean around and under your new bridge.

                                                   Back to Top

For Implants: In most cases recovery from implant placement is uneventful and you will be back to normal activity very quickly. You may experience some pain, bruising, or swelling, and your dentist will probably prescribe antibiotics and pain medication. Some dentists suggest consuming only liquids or soft foods for one to two weeks after surgery, but that will depend upon your personal needs. Frequently you will be provided with a temporary partial denture which preserves your appearance and protects the implant site.

                                                   Back to Top

 

For dentures: When you first wear dentures, you may notice an increased saliva flow. Dentures also may feel loose or bulky or may cause the tongue to feel crowded. Try eating soft food or small pieces of food that you chew in the back. This helps your gums get used to holding dentures and keeps dentures from tipping side to side. With time and practice, your cheek and lip muscles should adjust. If you still feel soreness, consult your dentist.

                                                   Back to Top

How should I clean my bridges or implants?
Although you can't get cavities in your tooth replacements, they are potential food and plaque traps. To keep supporting teeth and gums healthy, brush and floss diligently or use interdental cleaners (ask your dentist or hygienist about these devices that clean between teeth). Use a toothbrush with a small tapered head to reach hard-to-clean areas, and rinse with water after meals.

                                                   Back to Top

How do veneers and bonding differ?
Veneers are fabricated in the dental laboratory, while bonding is applied directly to your teeth. Although veneers are generally more expensive, they are also more esthetic, durable and resistant to chipping and staining. When major cosmetic changes are called for, veneers can offer greater improvements than direct bonding. Your dentist will discuss with you which procedure is most appropriate.

                                                   Back to Top

What special care do I need to take after having my teeth bonded, bleached, or veneered?
 Be careful about what you eat for 24 hours after your teeth have been bonded or veneered. You don't have to eat just soft foods, buy you may want to avoid tough, chewy foods.  Don't pick at the new bonding even though it may feel unusual at first. You could damage the cement seal and shorten the life of the material. If you feel a rough edge with your tongue, see your dentist. A mild, temporary sensitivity isn't uncommon after cosmetic procedures. If it persists for more than a few weeks though, see your dentist.  Refrain from smoking in between bleaching appointments.

                                                   Back to Top

How should I care for my bonded or veneered teeth?
Brush and floss as normal, but avoid biting down on hard objects (such as your fingernails) or using your teeth as tools. Bonding and veneers aren't as strong as your natural enamel and may chip or fracture more easily.

                                                   Back to Top

Will my newly bleached, bonded, or veneered teeth stain?
Any teeth - even cosmetically treated ones - can be stained by tobacco and certain foods and drinks. Veneers, though, are more resistant to stain than bonded or bleached teeth. To avoid stains, shun tobacco products, coffee, tea, red wine, and heavily colored foods. (Colored toothpastes aren't a problem).

                                                Back to Top

Will bleaching work on all stains?
No. Discoloration caused by some filling materials and dark internal stains, such as those caused by injuries or antibiotics, like tetracycline, are very difficult to bleach. In those cases, your dentist may recommend other cosmetic procedures, such as veneers.

                                                   Back to Top

How do porcelain veneers differ from porcelain crowns?
With veneers, more of the healthy tooth structure can be preserved since dentists don't have to remove as much of the tooth as they do when placing a crown. Your dentist will suggest the most appropriate procedure for you.

                                                  Back to Top

What other cosmetic procedures are there?
Other procedures include microabrasion (removal of small layers of enamel to eliminate spots) and contouring (filing misshapen teeth). Ask your dentist about these and other treatments.

                                                   Back to Top

My veneer (or crown) just popped out, what do I do now?

Carefully save the veneer and call you dentist.  It is important to remember that a porcelain veneer or crown is at its most fragile when it is not being supported by a tooth.  Recementation is usually a fairly simple procedure provided the porcelain has not been damaged.

                                                   Back to Top

Something hurts.  I've heard that I can get relief if I let an aspirin tablet dissolve on my gum over the pain.

Don't do it.  Aspirin is a concentrated acid in solid form and will cause more damage than it can ever cure leaving you with a serious burn.  Take appropriate pain relievers according to directions and call your dentist as soon as possible.

                                                   Back to Top

Are there special instructions I should follow after getting a filling, crown or after having a root canal?

For fillings and crowns:
Avoid drinking hot liquids or eating chewy foods until the numbness from your anesthesia wears off (it may last as long as four hours). This will prevent you from accidently burning your mouth with a hot drink or biting your tongue. Afterward you may drink or eat anything you want. You might also experience a mild sensitivity to heat and cold in the repaired tooth (especially with metal filling materials), but this usually disappears within a day.

                                                   Back to Top

For root canal: All root canal treated teeth will require additional restoration and are potentially weakened until this treatment is complete. Avoid heavy chewing and pressure on the tooth and never pick at the temporary filling placed to seal the canal. If you experience any pain or swelling that you were not warned about specifically, contact your dentist as soon as possible.

                                                   Back to Top

Do I need to clean any differently around my crown?
Be particularly vigilant about brushing and flossing along the edges of your crown. Trapped food and plaque can build up around the gumline and adjacent teeth and lead to gum disease or decay.

                                                   Back to Top

Is the mercury in amalgam fillings hazardous to my health?
A very small number of people are allergic to mercury, and tiny amounts of mercury vapor may be released when you chew and grind your teeth. But worldwide studies conducted for more than a century have failed to link the mercury in amalgam fillings to medical problems. Amalgam is still a safe, cost-effective and durable material and we do not recommend removing old amalgams solely for the removal of mercury. However, we are no longer placing new amalgam fillings.  There are several options available when restoring teeth that you should understand before a filling material is chosen.

                                                   Back to Top

Why should I have a root canal?
Can't my dentist just remove my damaged tooth? It's much better to keep as many of your natural teeth as possible. When teeth are extracted and not replaced, teeth near the empty spaced begin to shift. This can affect your chewing ability, cause your mouth to sink and your face to change appearance, and allow plaque to build up more easily. Also, if teeth are replaced, bridges may be more expensive than root canals.

                                                   Back to Top

What should I do if I lose a crown or filling?
Call and schedule an appointment with your dentist immediately. Don't put the filling or crown back on the tooth (it could cause damage or you may swallow it). Just bring it with you to the dentist. In the meantime keep the area clean by performing your normal dental-hygiene routine of brushing and flossing.

                                                   Back to Top

Are there any special precautions to be taken with children’s teeth?

1. Keep Teeth Clean
Even before your baby's first tooth comes in, wipe his or her gums with a wet cloth after each feeding to remove excess food and bacteria. After teeth erupt, use a soft-bristled brush and warm water to clean the teeth. By age 3 children should be brushing their own teeth with adult supervision. Make sure they use just a pea-sized dot of toothpaste. Start flossing your child's teeth daily when all the primary teeth are in or when teeth are touching each other.  By age 8 children are usually old enough to brush and floss by themselves with only occasional checks.  Make brushing and flossing daily a routine, but keep it enjoyable. Try brushing with your child or letting him or her use a colorful toothbrush.

                                                   Back to Top

2. Avoid Baby-Bottle Tooth Decay
Baby-bottle tooth decay can occur when an infant is given a bottle filled with milk, formula, or fruit juice at bedtime, naptime, or for long periods during the day. Extended exposure to the sugar in these liquids can cause teeth to discolor and decay. Since breast milk contains sugar, decay also can occur when a baby falls asleep while breastfeeding. To prevent damage, clean your child's teeth after each feeding, and if necessary, give him or her a bottle filled only with water at bedtime or naptime.

                                                   Back to Top

3. Start Dental Visits Early
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that you child see a dentist by his or her first birthday. Your dentist may advise waiting longer but will probably want to see the child before all the baby teeth have come in.

On the first visit the dentist will:

  • Check the child's teeth for decay and signs of early development problems.
  • Answer questions and explain how to care for the child's teeth.
  • Most children should see a dentist every six months.

Encourage a positive attitude toward visits by following these tips:

  • Play dentist to familiarize your youngster with what will happen.
  • Take your children with you when you go in for a checkup so that they can get used to the environment and meet the staff.
  • Avoid negative words like "shot" or "hurt "
  • Answer questions honestly but not too specifically. Dental professionals have special ways of explaining things to children.

                                                   Back to Top

4. Encourage Healthful Eating
A balanced diet is important for healthy teeth and gums. Children especially need calcium, which helps build strong teeth; some good sources are milk, cheese and yogurt. (Research also shows that eating cheese after meals seems to inhibit the effects of decay-causing acids.) Discourage sugary or starchy snacks.

                                                Back to Top

5. Ask About Sealants
When a child's first permanent molars erupt, usually around age 6, consider protecting them with dental sealants. A sealant is a thin plastic coating applied by your dentist to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth. By filling in the teeth's grooves, sealants create a barrier against food and bacteria that cause decay. They are very effective in preventing decay in back teeth.

                                                   Back to Top

6. Get Enough Fluoride
Fluoride helps fight cavities. Your dentist can tell whether your children are getting enough.
To find out whether your drinking water contains fluoride, contact your local water company or health department.
Other sources include fluoride toothpastes and rinses, professional treatments, or prescription tablets, drops, or gels.

                                                   Back to Top

7. Will thumbsucking or using a pacifier hurt my child's teeth?
Sucking is a natural behavior for babies. Many infants begin sucking their thumbs or using pacifiers within three months of birth, and thumbsucking may continue through the toddler years. Neither habit generally poses a dental problem if it is discontinued before the child's first permanent teeth erupt.

                                                   Back to Top

8. Is swallowing toothpaste harmful to children?
Occasionally swallowing small amounts of toothpaste usually poses no problem, but it depends on the amount of fluoride your child gets. Ask your dentist whether your child is getting enough - or too much - fluoride. Too much can cause nausea and fluorosis, a discoloration of the teeth. Be aware that trace amounts of fluoride can be found in fruit juices and sodas as well as in drinking water.

                                                   Back to Top

9. Are mouthguards necessary only for contact sports?
Dental injuries are among the most common dental problems seen in patients under age 18. Many could be prevented if children wore mouthguards during any recreational or sporting activities that pose a risk of dental injury, including bike-riding, skateboarding, and rollerblading as well as football and hockey. Mouthguards are available at sporting-goods stores, or your dentist can provide you with a custom-made guard.

                                                   Back to Top

10. How can I convince my child to stop chewing tobacco?
Appeal to his sense of vanity. Explain that chewing tobacco causes bad breath, stained teeth, receding gums, and sores in the mouth. It can even lead to oral cancer. Also ask your dentist or hygienist to explain the dangers. Having an unrelated professional discuss the medical facts (and even show pictures of the damage it can do) can sometimes convince the young chewer to quit.

                                                   Back to Top

11. How will I know whether my child needs braces?
Many dentists can detect malocclusion (a bad bite) in children as young as age 2 or 3. If a problem is identified, your general dentist may refer you to an orthodontist (a specialist who straightens teeth and corrects jaw problems). Depending on the malocclusion, the orthodontist will then decide whether to treat the condition immediately or wait until later.

                                                   Back to Top

12. What should I do if my child chips or knocks out a tooth?
If a tooth is chipped, rinse the damaged tooth with warm water and see your dentist as soon as possible. If you find the chipped piece, take it with you. He or she may be able to bond the piece back onto the tooth. If a tooth is knocked out, pick it up, carefully by the crown (or top), not by the delicate roots. Gently rinse if off, and place it in milk or wrap it in a damp cloth. If you get to your dentists within 30 minutes, there's a 90 percent chance that the tooth can be replanted. If a primary tooth is knocked out, your dentist may insert a space maintainer to hold the space open for the permanent tooth. 

                                                   Back to Top